Live your dreams
Mon, 02 Oct 2006 03:22:10 +0000
Mon, 02 Oct 2006 03:07:33 +0000
“You’re a minority”
I was sitting in my advisor’s office watching pale streams of North Carolina sunshine beam
through his office window when I heard his words.
“Say what now?” I asked, wondering about the meaning of the sudden change in our
conversation’s topic from funding to identity.
“Don’t worry,” he reinforced, “you’re a minority.”
“What’s a minority?” I asked, intruiged.
“Don’t worry,” he merely repeated, “you’re a minority.”
“Wait a minute…” I interjected, always one to engage in a philisophical
conversation of logic, especially about myself, “I didn’t see two signs above the
immigration lines in the airport with one sign saying ‘minorities’ and the other
“Don’t worry,” he just repeated, “you’re a minority.”
Around this time I’ve lost my interest in debate and become slightly annoyed at his
insistence that I was a ‘minority’. From what I could sense, it seemed more like some
imposed concept of self-perception from on high (exactly how high I don’t know), or some
state of being or existence from which I could not escape. And unless I was mistaken, I did not
believe that a Croatian from across the Atlantic who had attained his Ph D in physics and
immigrated to the U.S. had suddenly had a loss of mental capability in explaining what a
“Alright…” I sighed, eager to end an abruptly pointless conversation,
“I’m a minority.” I didn’t really care either way what he was trying to
Mon, 02 Oct 2006 02:14:14 +0000
Can a black student experience discrimination at a black university (AKA: HBCU)?
You bet your black a** I can!
Now its time to retaliate! But first, a few points…
I am not a terrorist
I don’t have any weapons of mass destruction
I don’t know where Osama is
I’m not trying to stay black and die
I’m not beggin’ Dubya for forty acres and a mule
I don’t care if Jesus was white, black or transparent…
I just do research in physics.
Follow along with the adventures of a U.S. residing post 9/11 foreign born physics student as he
matriculates through the halls of one of North Carolina’s HBCU’s, NCCU.
Wed, 27 Sep 2006 01:31:35 +0000
My arrival in the US almost resulted in my immediate return to the
It was August, 2002, and I was on the campus of NCCU with my advisor,
who was fighting valiantly to get me properly enrolled. It turned out that my paper work was not
filled out properly, so that I could not enroll for the current semester.
obviously tired of wielding the sword of fairness and diplomacy in my favor, left me with
instructions of what to do so that he could take care of other matters.
“What were you? A fisherman?” she asked
incredulously as she perused my file before her. In reality I was a tour guide for several years,
but the occupation ‘fisherman’ rolled off the pen easier after filling out an encyclopedia’s worth
of paper work.
“Yes I used to catch….”
“A fisherman?” her fellow secretary cut in before I had a chance to
finish. “You mean a fisherman stopped fishing to come all the way here to get a degree in physics?”
They laughed at some
apparent humor inherent in the remark. In one way, growing up watching
television, I could half-grasp the humor in such an unlikely event taking place. While pondering
this, my advisor re-appeared, escorting me to my next check-point of humiliation.
special attention to this one.” the first secretary commented as we turned to leave. “He’s from the
Bahamas and you know some of the terrorists that attacked recently came through the Caribbean
because the US immigration was lax with respect to them.”
My anger rose at the comment. And
exactly what neutralization was her statement supposed to make? I felt a sudden testosterone-driven
urge to back hand slap her through her holy, stained, plate-glass administrative window. Of course
I was raised not to hit women. Also, upon closer inspection, I realized she was having a bad day.
She had her tampon tucked behind her ear, and was frantically searching for her number two
Wed, 27 Sep 2006 00:39:34 +0000
My family believes that the incidents that led to my eventual arrival in
the United States were divine acts from above.
I was a kayak guide at Grand Bahama Nature Tours when a
faculty member from the university came to my island on a day when I was not even to work, and
offered a scholarship to my co-worker. I got an urgent call from Rick, who demanded that I get in
touch with him immediately.
“What’s up?” I asked when we finally met together one
day at work.
“Some white nerdy looking guy was here on tour the other
day and offered me a scholarship.”
“Oh yeah?” I asked. “Are you going?”
“I can’t go.” He responded. “My wife and kid are here,
so I can’t move.”
“But the scholarship is for sciences such as biology,
physics, chemistry, and…”
I can’t remember what he said next because the moment he
said ‘physics’, I was determined to go.
“…I knew you were always interested in physics, so I
“Thanks man.” I responded, hardly believing what I was
hearing. A year later, I was on a plane to
North Carolina, to spend the next four years of my life pursuing a bachelor’s degree in physics,
and a lot more that I knew at that moment.
Sun, 24 Sep 2006 04:14:44 +0000
This page chronicles the research that has emerged from at least hundreds of ideas that Jerry
and I have pondered over the years in physics.
Sat, 23 Sep 2006 23:40:10 +0000
“You are nothing but a slave!” Jerry boomed, almost commanding.
I darted him an annoyed, frustrated glance before gazing at the beautiful mountains surrounding
Salt Lake City in an attempt to calm my nerves. We were driving home to his house together after
another day at his company that he co-founded. As I stared at the grey capped peaks, I wondered why
we were having this conversation for the fifth time…
“Don’t worry,” he added calmy, “you’ll get used to
But that’s what bothered me. I wasn’t getting used to it (Jerry’s
reference that as a college student, I was essentially a slave and had to do what I was told).
After three years of my matriculation throught he hallowed halls of my beloved HBCU (Historically
Black College or University) NCCU, I felt that something was missing. The petty jealousies, office
politics, and heartless inconsiderate atmosphere of academia was stiffling me, and it was slowly
draing my reserve. What the hell am I supposed to get used too? Am I supposed to be strong in the
face of constant mediocrity fumed by the arrogant aristocracy of the university? So many of the
faculty persevered only in their Shakespearian drama of being wholly actors, the campus their stage
to strive to attract nothing but meanigless recognition, all the while personally signifying
“I went through the same thing” he began again, when he sensed that my temper had
cooled back down to the reception of his reason. “Once you get that piece of paper, a lot of
doors will open up for you, and you wont have to worry about anything.”
“That’s what bothers me…” I replied. “Why should I have to be
forced to wait to think? If it weren’t for my curiosity, I probably wouldn’t have the
interest to pursue physics at all. I can’t afford to have the one thing that drives me killed
in the face of everything else I have to endure…”
I was referring to some theoretical research regarding some probes NASA had launched out into
space that were showing an unexplained deceleration in their velocities. After two years of
wrangling, Jerry and I presented a hypothesis that seemed reasonable at a few conferences. I
managed to attarct a small sphere of interest outside of the university. However, my concepts were
absorbed by certain professors of my physics department about as efficiently as drops of water
skating on the surface of a hot frying pan.
“You’re not supposed to think when your in college!” he remarked. “No
one does! It’s just one of those things.” This was yet another of his un-retractable
dogmas that seemed to emanate from the years of experience he has had since he earned his
“I don’t know man…” I wavered. “This shit is wearing me
“Well that’s what summers are for. You can recharge and face the next semester
“Hmph…” was all I could get out. All I really felt at that moment was that I
had to find a solution to satisfy this tired restlesness that I often had so much trouble
articulating…and I was not about to simply sit and do nothing.
Sat, 16 Sep 2006 21:36:20 +0000
What does a white Mormon from Utah and a black Catholic from Grand Bahama have in common?
A passion for theoretical physics.
This blog is about all of the adventures we have had and are continuing to have since we met
about four years ago.